Federal authorities have arrested four people and are pursuing three fugitives in a $1.4 million international fraud operation involving the sale on non-existent cars.
The case targets seven people who used at least 20 aliases and five fictious companies to fraud people who were interested in buying cars. The operation stretched from Kentucky to Europe and involved advertising cars on websites such as eBay and Autotrader and arranging for wire transfers to pay for the vehicles.
Prosecutors said that once the money was received, it was run through multiple bank accounts in Kentucky in different names and eventually overseas. The buyer, however, didn’t receive any car. The four people that were apprehended pleaded not guilty, while three others have been charged but hadn’t appeared in court in Lexington as of Friday.
Federal prosecutors in Lexington said the group transferred money over a two-year period from banks in Kentucky to accounts in Hungary and Romania. Authorities said the group would use a residential address in Louisville, set up websites for the fake companies and open bank accounts using the fictitious business names. Among the companies they used were Motors Center LLC, Y Finance LLC, National Autogroup Inc., Marion Motors Inc. and Golden Auto Sales Inc.